How do I get Ubuntu's "Disk Usage Analyzer" to show me the hidden files?

It tells me my home dir uses 3GB, but only accounts for 525MB (the results of du -shc *). Can I get it to show me the other files that are using the space?

  • du already shows all files, it doesn't hide anything. What exactly are the 3GB and 525MB figures reported for? Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 0:00
  • 1
    You should try 'ncdu' which is generally available in your distro's repositories, its text interface is great.
    – Shadok
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 16:02
  • You may also need to run as root, and not with sudo but with actual root, via su root.
    – Mikhail
    Commented Nov 7, 2012 at 14:44

7 Answers 7


You can use this (it does not match files with a single letter after the '.')

du -shc .??* *

wikipedia also mentions a regex style usage which should work for every file/folder name

du -shc .[!.]* *
  • Why two *'s? I.e. why .??* * and not just .??*. They seem to do the same thing. And what syntax accounts for * * anyway?
    – markling
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 13:02
  • du -shc .??* * includes both hidden (.??*) and visible (*) files/folders, while du -shc .??* shows only the hidden ones. We are essentially passing two patterns.
    – zakkak
    Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 13:45

Call du with the whole home directory rather than every single file:

du -sh ~

That's because the * doesn't match the hidden ones.

  • This does not list all the files in ~.
    – lindhe
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 8:38
  • @lindhe care to elaborate?
    – cYrus
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 12:39
  • Sorry for the ambiguity. It displays the aggregate size of all files (both plain and hidden) in ~. It does not however list the size of each file and subdirectory in ~. I assumed that was what OP wanted, since du -sch * would do that (but only for plain files).
    – lindhe
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 13:09

I got a similar problem today. My solution:

du -h | awk -F/ '{if (NF<3) {print $1"/"$2}}'

du -h gives us the complete usage of current directory including all subdirectories recursively.

| awk -F/ '{if (NF<3) {print $1"/"$2}}' filters the output and prints no subdirectories.

If you want to see the files in addition to the directories you can use this:

du -ah | awk -F/ '{if (NF<3) {print $1"/"$2}}'

If you want to see exactly which files use the most disk space you can add | sort -h at the end.


You can use "find" + "du" to see the hidden files and folders:

find ~ -maxdepth 1 -exec du -hs {} \;

When you do

du -shc *

it excludes everything that starts with a dot.


du -shc ~


  • One of the common culprits for chewing space under your home dir is .TRASH, the default trash directory used by distributions like Ubuntu.
    – user1931
    Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 1:25
  • 1
    Strangely, this shows 150GB (which I think is the total of all my filesystem usage) - and none of the sub-directories or files. Pretty useless really
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 1:49
  • @Stephen: you may have symlinks that are throwing things off. Try adding the -D option. Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 6:46

Other possibilities for unaccounted for space (other than the very valid point about . files and * expansion others suggested) include the 5% of the disk that is occasionally reserved for root (relatively common) and files hidden underneath a mount point.

For that last, imagine you have a folder /tmp/somerandom/raccoon/. In this folder you put 2.5G of video. You then mount your USB disk on /tmp/somerandom/. You can no longer access the file/files that you put in /tmp/somerandom/raccoon, but they still take up disk space. du doesn't see them, but df does.


Disk Usage Analyzer does not show files (as I would expect) - if the % below a certain directory don't show up, then open the folder and look at the files individually.

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